Thanks to Tim Walker for this great blog and wonderful photos, sent in on 30th March 2022, amidst great excitement among Mayow Park users.
It was Monday 28th March when what looked like an enormous bird of prey appeared in Mayow Park. Eagle-eyed newspaper readers quickly identified her as Jester, the missing falcon from London Zoo. National newspapers and TV had reported her daring escape and subsequent sightings in various south west London locations. She has now been absent without leave from the zoo for two weeks. It seems that after trying many other parks, as at Wednesday, she seems happy to stay with us here in Mayow Park.
She is a crested Caracara falcon, native to the Americas and is a real beauty. She seems happy on the ground grubbing around for worms in the flower beds and across the main field, effortlessly evading occasional crow attacks and uncontrolled dogs by swooping up to the nearest tree. Or she’ll happily walk very close to people, generously offering up photo opportunities. She even spent some time with the outdoor yoga group on the main field.
On Tuesday, after multiple sightings had been reported, two keepers from the zoo arrived. They spent two hours patiently observing and feeding Jester, but she warily stayed just far away enough to evade capture. They seemed happy that she is healthy and managing well and once she had eaten her fill they said they would come back to try another day. She apparently is more than capable of surviving in our park though, and the zoo asks that people please not try to feed her.
On Wednesday zoo staff were in the park again, saying that she appears to be in good health. They are waiting on some special equipment to catch her and that could be a few days away yet. Wherever she goes, they aim to check on her daily.
After three days here perhaps she will stay long enough for the zoo to find a way to take her home. But meanwhile, it does look as though she’s actually having a very good time here in our lovely park.